The father of murdered Ballinderry schoolgirl Jennifer Cardy will speak at a meeting in Loughbrickland next week of how God helped him face the years following her death.
Jennifer was murdered in 1981 after she was abducted from the roadside near her home.
Some 30 years later, in 2011, then 64-year-old convicted child-killer Robert Black, originally from Grangemouth in Scotland, was found guilty of the nine-year-old’s murder.
Andrew Cardy will be a guest of the Loughbrickland Black Evangelical Fellowship when it meets in the Sir Henry Wilson Memorial Orange at 8pm next Tuesday, March 10.
A spokesperson for the Fellowship said: “We all suffer pain, suffering and loss in our lives, and we all deal with these in different ways.
“Our pain and loss comes to us in so many different ways, and on so many different levels.
“However, when that loss is the loss of a child it is a loss with which many could never come to terms.
“Andrew Cardy remembers well walking hand in hand with his eldest daughter Jennifer to buy her a new shiny red bicycle.
“A short two weeks later on the 12th August 1981 August 1981 the family had just had lunch, and Jennifer was setting off to her friend’s home over a mile away, close to Ballinderry Primary School.
“Jennifer was nursing her baby sister on her knee.
“Just before she was getting up to go she handed the baby to her mother, and said that she had to give her back as she believed that the baby was getting quite heavy now. They both laughed.
“Jennifer went to get her hankies from a drawer and as she walked out of the glass-panelled door she tossed her hair around and closed the door.
“That is the last time the family saw their daughter alive.
“It was 1.40pm.
“Jennifer was always home for 4.30pm so when she hadn’t come back her mother began to worry.
“The next hours proved to be filled with panic and worry.
“Many hours and the days of searching followed before her little body was found at McKee’s dam in Hillsborough.
“Andrew then gave his life to the Lord, and without the Lord he could not have faced the years since little Jennifer’s murder.
“It will undoubtedly be a night of high emotion, but it will also be uplifting as it will show how the Lord can help you through any difficulty or pain.”